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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2020)

A gendered analysis on the role and potential of goat production to improve income and food security in semi-arid areas of South Africa

Tsvuura, Susan Maira.

Titre : A gendered analysis on the role and potential of goat production to improve income and food security in semi-arid areas of South Africa

Auteur : Tsvuura, Susan Maira.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy 2020

Résumé partiel
Small scale goat farming has a potential to contribute to livelihoods particularly in semi-arid areas where rainfall is erratic and crop farming is too risky. The broad objective of the study was to conduct a gendered analysis on the role and potential of goat production to improve income and food security in semi-arid areas of South Africa. The study used focus group discussions, key informant interviews and a questionnaire survey of 241 households for data collection. Descriptive statistics, general linear models, Chi-square tests and the Tobit regression model were used for data analyses. Male-headed households were mostly young, married and educated whilst female-headed households largely belonged to the old aged, were single or widowed and had little or no formal education. Male-household heads generally owned goats. In female-headed households, both the head and elder sons owned goats. In male-headed households, the head made decisions on goat marketing and on use of goat income whilst in female-headed households, both the head and elder sons made decisions (p<0.01). Male-headed households had larger goat flock sizes (mean 26.78 goats per household) than female-headed households (mean 15.59 goats per household) (p<0.05), lower goat mortality rates and achieved higher goat reproduction rates (p<0.05) as they followed better health control. Their goat annual net gains were higher than those of female-headed households (p<0.05). The motivations of male and female-headed households for keeping goats were different, with female-headed households rearing primarily for cultural ceremonies and males for sales. Goat sales were generally low, with mean of 2.1 for male-headed households and even lower for female-headed households with mean of 1.0 (p<0.05) in 12 months. The determinants of goat commercialization were gender of household head, location, education level of household head, occupation of household head, total household income, number of goats a household owns, goat marketing price, goat losses through death from diseases and theft, and whether a household receives remittances. The main constraints to goat commercialisation were poor condition of goats and mortality, high illiteracy rates of women, cultural settings biased against women, which discouraged them from owning and selling goats, shortage of transport to take goats to the market, poor confidence in the newly set up auction system of marketing and limited access to information. The reason for the low goat sales could be due to farmers’ failure to build up suitable flock sizes (due to losses through poor nutrition, diseases, predation, and theft), and this made it more unlikely to sell goats. Goat numbers were also an indicator of wealth.

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